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NL Central race snapshot: After the games of September 24, how are the St. Louis Cardinals positioned?

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After the games of September 24, how are the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Chicago Cubs positioned entering play on September 25?

Jeff Curry/Getty Images

Only two of the three National League Central contenders competed on September 24, 2015:

The Cardinals' victory reduced their magic number by one against both the Cubs (4) and the Pirates (6). It allowed St. Louis to maintain their game lead on the Pittsburgh and grow their lead over Chicago by one-half of a game. According to Fangraphs, their division title odds crept upward. The Cards are one win or Los Angeles loss away from making it mathematically impossible to finish with a record worse than the Dodgers'.

Today's chart and graphic look at how the Cardinals, Pirates, and Cubs are positioned after the games of Thursday, September 24, and entering play on Friday, September 25.

Rest-of-Season Records

How can the Pirates or Cubs catch the Cardinals and tie St. Louis for first place after Game 162? I resurrected the chart showing the scenarios in which this is possible. Red is the Cardinals. Yellow is the Pirates. Blue is the Cubs.

W

L

W%

Final W

Final L

Final W%

W

L

W%

Final W

Final L

Final W%

W

L

W%

Final W

Final L

Final W%

9

0

1.000

106

56

.654













8

1

.889

105

57

.648













7

2

.778

104

58

.642













6

3

.667

103

59

.636













5

4

.556

102

60

.630

9

0

1.000

102

60

.630







4

5

.444

101

61

.623

8

1

.889

101

61

.623







3

6

.333

100

62

.617

7

2

.778

100

62

.617







2

7

.222

99

63

.611

6

3

.667

99

63

.611

10

0

1.000

99

63

.611

1

8

.111

98

64

.605

5

4

.556

98

64

.605

9

1

.900

98

64

.605

0

9

.000

97

65

.599

4

5

.444

97

65

.599

8

2

.800

97

65

.599







3

6

.333

96

66

.593

7

3

.700

96

66

.593







2

7

.222

95

67

.586

6

4

.600

95

67

.586







1

8

.111

94

68

.580

5

5

.500

94

68

.580







0

9

.000

93

69

.574

4

6

.400

93

69

.574













3

7

.300

92

70

.568













2

8

.200

91

71

.562













1

9

.100

90

72

.556













0

10

0

89

73

.549

Playoff Odds

I included the Fangraphs playoff odds, which are rendered like this:

The FanGraphs Playoff Odds are an adaption of the coolstandings.com playoff odds originally created by Greg Agami and Sean Walsh. To generate the playoff odds we simulate each season 10,000 times.

I used the Fangraphs projection mode for the playoff odds, though there are other options. This mode "uses a combination of Steamer and ZiPS projections and the FanGraphs Depth Charts to calculate the winning percentage of each remaning game in the major league season."

Magic Numbers

I added the Cardinals, Pirates, and Cubs' so-called magic numbers to the graphic as well. This represents the sum of eam wins and opponent losses necessary for that team to finish ahead of the opponent in the standings. I used the following formula:

Magic Number = 162 + 1 - (Team Win Total) - (Opponent Loss Total)

For fun I included the magic numbers for St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Chicago against all postseason contenders, including the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets, who are currently in first place and likely to win their divisions. It provide more context of the wild-card race. It also illustrates how close the Central champion is to potentially sealing home-advantage in the NLDS and, if they should happen to make it that far, the NLCS.

PhamDuel, er, I mean, FanDuel

SBN and FanDuel have entered into an exclusive daily fantasy baseball agreement. Carlos Martinez starts at home against the Brewers. I like that matchup for El Gallo. Play FanDuel here.